Egypt Watch

Popular outrage in Egypt at decision to transfer Luxor statues to Tahrir Square

January 1, 2020

MP Mohamed Abdel Ghani has urgently raised concern in parliament about the decision to transfer four archaeological statues of rams from Karnak Temple in Luxor city to Tahrir Square. The move comes as part of recent renovations of the square. During a visit to Tahrir the Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly revealed the government’s plans to transfer the statues. Authorities have ignored the request of artists to create similar works instead of transferring the original ones.
Dr. Monika Hanna, head of the Heritage and Antiquities Unit of the Arab Academy for Science and Technology in Aswan, launched a petition addressed to General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to stop the decision. Dr. Hanna said that 1,300 professors and archeologists signed the petition and a copy of it was sent to the president.
The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism has defended its decision. Mostafa Waziry, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Antiquities, said that the statues will be transferred to decorate Tahrir Square and will be preserved and protected, but a number of activists and archeologists raised their concerns on social media.
MP Haitham al-Hariry, lawyer Tarek al-Awady and Monika Hanna filed a lawsuit at the administrative court against Madbouly and the Minister of Antiquities and Tourism Khaled al-Anany to stop the transfer of the statues.